“Whether you have a pool in your backyard or not, you teach your kids to swim. Whether you have a firearm in your home or not, why not empower our youth with knowledge and education on how to stay safe? A lot of people see the NRA and assume the program is just designed to get kids interested in guns, but it’s the exact opposite — it’s telling them to stay away,” Todd said. “It’s all about safety, there’s no political agenda.” – Cheryl Todd in NRA’s Eddie Eagle gun-safety effort transcends politics [via azcentral.com]
Common sense has no place when discussing common sense about guns!
Or so I’ve repeatedly been told by implication by the mainstream media…
“Stay away” is one of the goals of the Eddie Eagle thing, but it is NOT the best message for children. Children are infinitely curious and have a passion to touch and handle things, learning as they go. It is far better to teach them about dangerous things by allowing them to handle them in a safe way, closely supervised, and thereby satisfy their curiosity and drive to learn about their environment. Only then can they be truly impressed with the danger and the steps they need to take to remain safe. Ever try to impress a 2 year old simply by saying “no?” Good luck with that.
Eddie Eagle may be the best that can be expected of “schools” and other organizations, for the very youngest children, but it is simply not sufficient to help children stay safe.
I taught my boys the same way I learned. At six I was shown how to load and shoot at cans with a .22RF. When I could hit something, we went gopher hunting.
Nothing quite like seeing a living thing turned inside out by a projectile you launched to impress upon a young mind the need for safe gun handling.
OFC, we didn’t have the four rules in those days. We only had two; watch the muzzle and keep off the trigger. Plus; never trust a ‘safety’ and never trust an unloaded gun. So I guess we DID have almost the same four rules, but worded less clearly. Thx to the late Jeff Cooper, they are a little easier and clearer nowadays.
Nice straw man. We’re talking Eddie in the schools and you bring up two year olds? Relevance? None. We’re talking about small children, but old enough to exercise judgment, who happen upon firearms. If that’s a two year old, then you’re a failed parent training is moot.
The fact is that not every household is equipped and motivated to teach their kids even rudimentary firearm safety. The NRA program can reach those small children who are never going to get that message at home.
Now, I’ll concede that not every kid is amenable to that sort of instruction. So what? Many are, and it’s free, so use it
It’s partly the NRA’s fault. They don’t do a very good job of compartmentalizing or distinguishing between the NRA ILA’s defense of 2A rights and the NRA’s principle mission of promoting of safety, marksmanship, recreational shooting and responsible gun ownership. The political stuff is plastered all over their media. Most people think the NRA is just a political lobby and nothing more.
Agreed. I joined the NRA as it is supposed to promote the shooting sports and to protect those sports. Empower through education. It should be bi-partisan but it is clearly not. Way too many political articles and lobbying for my liking.I am neither Republican or a Democrat, yes I am a USC. I voted all over last election reading up on the differect policies proposed by parties and nominees, down to the State level. I will rejoin the NRA when I see more education policies and more shooting sports promotions and less politics. Have a political wing by all means but try and separate the two. Right now the NRA is a target for the Left, because it is allowing itself to be.
Actually, the NRA conducted its original mission of firearms training and saftey for more tgan a century before even getting into politics in earnest. The NRA’s ILA wing wasn’t even formed until the 1970s, after the federal government came out with the GCA and other assaults in gun rights. The NRA doesn’t “make itself” a target. The government targeted the NRA, which has had to defend itself and our rights for decades since.
Moreover, one’s NRA experience is largely up to himself. Choose the programs amd events that you like. You can stay away from the politics, if you want. In fact, in order to maintain their nonprofit status, such as the components undertaking training and Edie programs, political discussion is prohibited by law and organization regulations. So there.
Ultimately, the NRA, like every voluntary organizaion, is what you make of it. Look at their motto on their website: “The NRA, tailored for you. Pick an interest to get started.” It begs you to do your own thing. If the NRA is not focused sufficiently on safety and training, you’re probably wrong, but still, it’s up to you to go bolster those areas you supposedly value most.
A viseo on how to clean your kill(in living color) On a large game animal, should be enough to keep most kids away from firearms. Now BB guns and pellet guns may be a different story and the warning “you could put an eye out, kid!” could be a great warning not to shoot at people.
The best way to keep children safe around firearms is to start their training early. 3 to 5 years old. Start with the introduction as to what a firearm is. Using the no touch principle as you would with a stove or any other item. As they get older continue to train them based on their ability to comprehend. Children are like sponges in their formative years. They can be taught an unlimited amount of things and concepts. Firearms are no different from the ABC’s. Counting numbers or Learning Boundaries of good and bad behavior. It is the responsibility of every parent to teach their children about the dangers they may face in their life. Whether you own firearms or not your child may come in contact with a gun at some point in their life. Education is the great equalizer in all of life,s situations both good and bad. You may not drink alcohol or due drugs. You still have to teach your children about the dangers they pose. Wearing a seat belt in the car even if you don’t for their own protection. Firearms are no different. You won’t be with your child every minute of their life. It’s up to you to educate them. Don’t have regret later after something tragic happens. Life is a fleeting thing and bad things can happen in a heartbeat.
“Using the no touch principle as you would with a stove or any other item.”
“Don’t touch the stove” is only truly learned when there is a burn involved on tiny fingers.
Are you suggesting ‘Junior’ needs a bullet wound to learn about guns?
Neither one is necessary, Geoff. Just for one example, when my oldest son was three he reached for a pot handle on the stove and pulled it down on him. It was our great, good fortune that the pot was full of cold water and he only got konked on the head with the small pot. The shock of that impressed the tall toddler very much, and he didn’t go near the stove again for a long time. I learned a very serious lesson as well, and still turn pot handles toward the center of the stove without even thinking about it.
The funny thing is that I set up the younger one, years later, to experience the same thing. He dodged the pot and pretty much laughed at the cold water. I had a much harder time keeping him away from the stove. He had to be supervised much more closely with everything for a long time.
But they both had hands on learning about guns, fully supervised, and were shooting the .22 rifle by the time they were 3 and 5… Neither one was ever burned by a hot stove, nor suffered injury from a gun. They both grew up to be responsible gun owners and responsible husbands and fathers. I like to think I had some small part in that. 🙂 It sure wasn’t “Eddie Eagle.”
You Sir…Geoff PR… Are nothing more than a keyboard antagonist. Otherwise you would have something moreintelligent to say. When you grow up and move out of mommies basement. Come back and we’ll talk…MIC Drop!!!
Thank you to IMI Systems and The Truth About Guns for picking up this story and helping to share it! My husband, Danny and I were very blessed to have been able to co-sponsor this event with AZ State Rep. Diego Espinoza, who is a registered Democrat who interested in the urgency of saving lives over the slow process of politics. Rep. Espinoza and I both agree that we have so much more power to change our children’s futures when we put politics aside. On the topic of “Is Eddie Eagle all kids need to stay safe?” that I see expressed in some of the comments posted here, I absolutely agree that while Eddie Eagle is an excellent piece of empowering our youth with knowledge and education, we cannot abdicate our responsibility as gun-owning parents to continue the training in other ways. For families who are not gun-owners, Eddie Eagle may be all the training they ever encounter, and for those families, it is an excellent program to plant the seeds of how to stay safe should they (parents or kids) find a gun. I am reminded of the story recently of a mom and son who were in a department store in TX (I believe). A gun was inadvertently left in a dressing room by another shopper (I believe it had fallen under the bench), the son found it, the mom picked it up and pulled the trigger to determine if it was a real gun or not, which resulted in a negligent discharge. Thankfully no one was injured but had this mom followed Eddie Eagle’s rules and found a grown up (who knows how to handle firearms) this story would have played out differently. Thank you again to IMI Systems and TTAG for helping to spread the word, and for all the adults who are working with Eddie Eagle, or in other ways to empower our youth with knowledge and education to help keep them safe!
When I was little my father always told me that if I ever wanted to look at his guns, all I had to do was ask. He’d take them out, show me how to load and unload them, how to check the chamber, and explain the mechanical function. We went shooting as soon as I was old enough. It was plenty to satisfy my curiosity, teach me gun handling, and give me a respect for their destructive potential.
I’ve done the same with my son. He is keen on gathering knowledge and non-shooting experience until he is allowed to start the practical exercises. I think he knows more about firearms safety and handling than nearly all non-shooting adults.
My born-and-raised-in-NYC wife has done a sufficiently decent job of terrifying my children of all firearms.
This is a different world than yesteryear. Kids have been raised to be scared of everything and responsible for nothing. Just like their parents were raised.